We are starting to move outward now. The turning point came a few days before Easter, when I looked outside one morning and saw that there was more bare ground than snow visible through the window.
Later that morning, I took my two youngest daughters and several friends to the playground in East Middlebury for the first time in about six months. The playground was hopping with caregivers and their young charges. As is always the case on those first warm days of spring, I saw people whom I hadn’t laid eyes on since the fall, people I’d nearly forgotten during our long hibernation.
We ate both snack and lunch outside that day. Then, while my daughters napped, I pulled the gardening book down from its shelf with some trepidation. Much to my relief, it told me that since I live in a cold climate, I can safely leave most of the gardening work until May. I left the book on the kitchen counter to refer to in another month, when the ground is thawed and dry and the chance of snow is almost zero.
As if to justify my leisure, the temperature dropped 30 degrees and it snowed the next day, and the day after that.